Luciano Spalletti has said he was asked to take charge of AC Milan - a club he will be trying to beat in this season's Champions League - two years ago.
Spalletti, who has been in charge of Zenit St Petersburg for three years, said Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani had made him an offer, only to withdraw it days later.
He said he had been approached by the Rossoneri in summer 2010, prior to the appointment of the club's current coach, Massimiliano Allegri, telling Sky Italia: "It is true that Galliani has contacted me in the past.
"He asked me whether I was available and open to the idea of becoming Milan's new head coach. However, he gave me another call a few days later asking me to forget about any previous agreements. It was not a problem for me - I am happy to coach wherever people want me."
Zenit have been drawn in Champions League Group C with Milan, Anderlecht and Malaga, and Spalletti sees that as a very open group.
"I expect a balanced group, which makes things more complicated," he added. "In the time I've worked in Russia, we have made the most of our capabilities and managed to win some trophies.
"With the Champions League, we'll have to work even harder. This is why we signed Hulk and Alex Witsel, as they are important additions to the existing squad."